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NIST has initiated a process to solicit, evaluate, and standardize one or more quantum-resistant public-key cryptographic algorithms. Currently, public-key cryptographic algorithms are specified in FIPS 186-4, Digital Signature Standard, as well as special publications SP 800-56A Revision 2, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key Establishment Schemes Using Discrete Logarithm Cryptography and SP 800-56B Revision 1, Recommendation for Pair-Wise Key-Establishment Schemes Using Integer Factorization Cryptography. However, these algorithms are vulnerable to attacks from large-scale quantum computers (see NISTIR 8105, Report on Post Quantum Cryptography).
It is intended that the new public-key cryptography standards will specify one or more additional unclassified, publicly disclosed digital signature, public-key encryption, and key-establishment algorithms that are available worldwide, and are capable of protecting sensitive government information well into the foreseeable future, including after the advent of quantum computers.
As a first step in this process, NIST solicited public comment on draft minimum acceptability requirements, submission requirements, and evaluation criteria for candidate algorithms. The comments received are posted, along with a summary of the changes made as a result of these comments.
The final submission requirements and the minimum acceptability requirements of a "complete and proper" candidate algorithm submission, as well as the evaluation criteria that will be used to appraise the candidate algorithms, can be found in section 4 of the Call for Proposals.
Nominations for post-quantum candidate algorithms may now be submitted, up until the final deadline of November 30, 2017. Complete instructions on how to submit a candidate package are posted in the Call for Proposals.
NIST extends its appreciation to all submitters and those providing public comments during the post-quantum algorithm evaluation process.